It's an exciting time for Japanese graphics businesses. The 2019 Rugby World Cup is fast approaching, to be followed swiftly by the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer, meaning plenty of work associated with the events themselves as well as the upswing in tourist numbers. Signage, displays and graphics have to be of the absolute highest quality.
Giken Co., Ltd, located in Suruga-ku in Shizuoka, is a great advocate for pushing the limits of printed output. Established in 1982 as the signage division of a construction company, Giken became independent in 2006 and is now a printing business alongside a supplier of media and equipment, including wide-format inkjet printers. The company has used Roland equipment for over two decades, as Masahiko Matsumoto, President at Giken, explains.
Masahiko Matsumoto is the President of Giken, established in 1982
"We started marketing wide-format inkjet printers when they first became available," he says. "When Roland DG released the CAMMJET CJ-70, the world's first wide-format inkjet printer/cutter capable of printing water-based pigment ink, in 1997, we were so impressed that a single printer was capable of both cutting and inkjet printing that we decided to start using one. Since then we have continued using Roland printers, and we also sell them."
One of the latest additions to the Giken line-up is the Roland TrueVIS VG2-540, a wide-format eco-solvent printer/cutter that has already picked up prestigious titles in the EDP Awards and ISA Innovation Awards since its launch in early 2019. As much of Giken's printed output – such as 30m-long billboards, signboards and tourist information panels – is installed in public spaces, it must be of excellent quality. It's for this reason that Giken invested in the TrueVIS VG2-540.
Print vibrant images using the orange ink capabilities of the Roland TrueVIS VG2 printer cutter
Masahiko Matsumoto explains: "Printing vibrant images is simply not good enough for signboards. The required colour and image quality differ depending on what is being featured on the sign, like scenery, food dishes, precision equipment, or people."
He adds: "I have found that the VG2-540 has an image quality that delivers a real impact on the person viewing the prints. It has excellent colour reproduction and now covers a much broader colour gamut."
The Roland TrueVIS VG2's new orange ink adds incredible vibrancy to landscapes
Masahiko notes that the TrueVIS VG2's new orange ink in particular 'has definitely made a positive impact'. "The oranges of sunsets, the green tones of grass and the blue hues of skies look vibrant and realistic," he says. "Until now, printing out blue skies with inkjet printers always included a small quantity of black ink, but with the VG2-540 orange ink is used in place of the black to produce skies that look vivid and natural."
The Giken President says that, in addition, 'print quality that appeals to all the senses is so important in advertising'. He says: "It would be great to have designers experience for themselves the truly stunning image quality that the VG2 series is capable of reproducing, where even the texture and feel of materials in the images seem to jump out. I cannot think of any other printer that can recreate both the delicate strands of silk as well as the dense look of linen."
The TrueVIS VG2-540 offers the added benefit of accurate, integrated cutting and creasing functions. When Giken started out, it sold products that had been made with a vinyl cutter owing to the cost of the equipment – 'vinyl cutters were very expensive', says Masahiko – but now this ability is available as part of one efficient printing machine.
Tourist information panels must be of high quality as people view them close-up
In preparation for the major sporting events taking place at a number of locations around Shizuoka, Masahiko is ensuring Giken is prepared. He says: "We are expecting an increase in demand in advertising signboards and I want to make sure that Giken can adapt and respond to any sudden growth in demand."
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